Arkansas Neuroscience Institute Research and Education Center Opens

The newly-opened Arkansas Neuroscience Institute (ANI) Research and Education Center will work to improve treatment outcomes for patients, map the human brain and provide training for neurosurgeons to develop the skills necessary to tackle the most complex cases. The center is the culmination of a $30-million project to develop new neurosurgery, education and research facilities in central Arkansas.

“This is not just a new building, but a beacon of light for neurosurgeons around the world,” said ANI Director Dr. Ali Krisht. “Neurosurgery as a field is very unknown. This center will become an oasis for all the thinkers and people who deal with neurosurgical problems to come learn with us and at the same time contribute to our learning.”

The center includes the M.G. Yasargil Neurosurgical Research and Education Center and O. AL-Mefty Microneurosurgery Laboratory, named after two of Dr. Krisht’s mentors and fellow recipients of the prestigious international Herbert Olivecrona Award for contributions to the field of neurosurgery. The laboratory features the only existing space where neurosurgeons can train using The Aboud Model: The Live Cadaver. Created by ANI’s Dr. Emad Aboud, The Aboud Model circulates blood-like perfusate through a cadaver using a cardiac pump to simulate life-like conditions in terms of bleeding, pulsation and softness of tissue, providing surgeons the advanced training they need without the enhanced pressure of operating on a live patient.

The 150-seat Margaret Clark Auditorium is equipped with three large projectors using a combination of 3D and laser technologies to live stream neurosurgical procedures from the microscopic camera navigating areas of a patient’s brain in the operating room. The resource allows students and fellow neurosurgeons to fully witness a surgery and see how the world’s best neurosurgeons conduct procedures or address unexpected discoveries.

“The new ANI Research and Education Center allows CHI St. Vincent to re-enforce our 130-year healing ministry for patients across Arkansas and also gives us the opportunity to reach patients around the world as Dr. Krisht and his team develop and share advanced techniques to improve patient outcomes,” said CHI St. Vincent CEO Chad Aduddell. “Patients with conditions thought inoperable elsewhere find hope and healing at ANI. We’re thankful for our donors and supporters who have helped make this center a reality.”

Construction of the ANI Research and Education Center was made possible in part thanks to $4-million in donations to the CHI St. Vincent Foundation. The project also included major renovations to CHI St. Vincent North, including four state of the art surgery rooms, advanced imaging resources, a helipad to reduce the transportation time for patients in need of immediate care and an expanded Intensive Care Unit to provide for the unique needs of neurosurgery patients. ANI currently treats patients from all 75 Arkansas counties, 38 states and countries around the world. An international symposium on The Future of Microneurosurgery will immediately follow the grand opening with presentations by experts in the field of ultra-microsurgery from 25 nations.

The ANI Research and Education Center was developed and designed by the NexCore Group and architects at Taggart Inc in coordination with the CHI Real Estate and Planning Office. The center was built by Clark Contractors.